Like many of our other aches and pains, many people try to dismiss gum pain as an insignificant nuisance that will eventually go away. While this may be the case some of the time, there are many instances where tooth and gum pain should not be ignored.
In some cases, gum pain can be the result of minor irritations caused by sensitivity to certain foods, drugs or a mouth guard. This is particularly likely if the patient notices red or white spots that appear with the pain. However, these spots could also be a sign of oral cancer, so it’s important to have them examined if they persist for more than a week.
Other possibilities include Gingivitis, which includes these symptoms:
- gums that are red, tender, or swollen.
- gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- loose teeth.
- a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite (malocclusion)
- pus between teeth and gums.
- pain when chewing.
Gums can also hurt when people breathe in cold air, or drink hot or cold liquids. If the pain is fleeting, it could be caused by cavities, loose fillings or gums that have pulled away from the teeth and exposed the roots. Pain that lingers after exposure to heat or cold is a different story. This could mean that the pulp – the center part of a tooth made up of living connective tissue and cells – is inflamed or possibly dying. It may be possible for a Miami dentist to save the tooth, or it might be irreversibly damaged by deep decay or trauma.
Gum pain can also come with other symptoms like bleeding, redness or swollen areas. Some patients experience this as a side effect of pregnancy or other hormonal changes. For others, it could indicate that there is an excessive buildup of bacteria or the early stages of periodontal disease. In extreme cases, gum pain along with swelling and sensitivity could mean that the infection from an abscessed tooth has spread to the gums and jaw bone. If patients are already practicing good brushing and flossing habits and these symptoms persist, it is a good idea for them to see their Miami-area dentist right away. Proper treatment is needed in order to stop the damage and prevent the spread of any disease or infection.
No matter the cause of the gum pain, a Miami dentist can help patients determine the cause and figure out if any treatment is necessary. It could be as simple as having a cavity filled or switching to a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth. Unfortunately, it could also be a more serious problem that requires medical treatment or oral surgery. If patients experience any of these signs or symptoms, they should make an appointment with their Miami dentist right away to have the situation professionally evaluated